It may be quickly coincidental, but I had a death loop experience using the Cabrinha bar 3 winters ago.
The original video here brought back that unpleasant memory.
So perhaps it is helpful I discuss it for my own therapy and perhaps for others.
I didn't have on a GoPro.
Foiling on a cold winter day.
Gibed to toe side on foil because of erratic waves from a recently passed ferry trying to quickly avoid the largest coming wave sets.
Foil and I nosed dived halfway thru gibe. Foil flipped over and somehow mast came between center line and right steering line....probably from the erratic waves that were being thrown up and foil went airborne into the lines coming from behind me.
I tried to undue the problem of foil between the lines but the steering line looped around the end of bar...just like in the original video.
Who knows why it occurred but it is hard to get a foil back thru the lines in good breeze.
I was unable to clear steering line and in trying to do so it pulled kite into a sequence of death loops. Was kinda freaky trying to clear the foil when I saw the line wrap around the end and knew I was in for a crap fest.
Within a few seconds, nose of foil was lodge in front of me and pulling me under water as the kite powered into the start of the death loops.
Foil was pinned between me and the force of the water.
Since foil was pulling on the steering line and the end of line was wrapped around the bar it was a pretty hard set of death loops sequences with little time between the next set of loops.
Had on a low seat harness which appeared to make this all worse
After a few death loops where there was brief moment to break the surface and speak to God for a second, I was being pulled so hard that I couldn't release the primary safety.
Was unable to get to the knife attached under the harness because was being pulled so hard, plus being underwater most of the time.
So just ejected secondary safety once I felt the exhaustion kicking in. Thankfully it's easier to get that eject when being pulled so hard since can reach behind the back where the force of water was less.
Anyhow, it may have been coincidental, but this type of bar end might have contributed. I don't know though but once it started tightening I couldn't unloop it off in that brief moment as the kite started to power up. Yea, I probably should of pulled the other steering line or center line first then working on unlooping the one end...but having the foil in front of me created more confusion. Perhaps I should of pulled the other lines first.
I loved that carbinha bar otherwise, but I don't use bars nowadays that have an end cap like that. One of my Liquid Force is similar.
Custom carbon, Naish, Slinghsot, Airush, and Ozone don't have ends like that and appear to be less of a potential hazard.
It was a rare event. It has never occurred again, even with attempting kite loops and back roll with kite foil and silly things on foil.
A few foil jumping thru the center lines events have occurred on those wiling to try looping big air on foil. Thus must always rehearse what happens when shit hits the fan in the air with a foil...just push the foil back behind you with your feet and release it and pull yourself forward and away of the board if shit hits the fan. I personally think jumping high with a foil is much safer injury wise than a twin tip....impacts are such easier on the knees because the deceleration created by the foil going the surface of water. I am at the age where I don't want hard impact landings on a twin tip or in shallow water.
Things that I now mentally and physically practice again and again and the video reminds me to do it more thank you:
-This video reminds me to rehearse release and finding the knife quickly with eyes closed...as vision is always mostly underwater during such events. Know where all the relapses and the knife are Rehearse it. It's somewhat similar to whitewater kayaking or surfing where the underwater forces are erratic and strong and you have to try and remain calm when such an event occurs.
-Got to know where the knife is...should always have one, although some will debate this. It needs to be easily reachable when being pulled hard. Yea carrying a knife is debatable, but in our area we occasionally have fishing lines near one of the pier heads that got dangled around my feet and foil once . If you use a foil kite and have to do a packdown and swim in, we all know it sometimes happens in rough waves where the lines get tight around your feet when wearing boots in cold water. It can be really tough getting those lines off the boot when it's wavy and half underwater. The velcro tabs and straps on some boots can really create a line mess on the boot.
-The primary release can be tough to get to during a death loop. Mentally rehearse finding this when being pulled hard and scared
-The seat harness folded me partly in half because of the pull from the death loop, whereas a waist harness possibly would of just pulled up on my chest and brought me to the surface perhaps more often during the loops. The seat harness possibly increased the downward force as I was a few feet underwater during the initial death loops. It seemed like I was 6-8 feet underwater for a minute or two. It may have only been 30 seconds but it felt like internity. It did take me a full 2 years to wear a seat harness again and perhaps some cognitive behavior therapy and neurofeedback as it was such an unpleasant memory. Haha
-After being underwater, I thankfully had not had an expiration ventilation right before the event. So I had enough renaming vital capacity on inspiration (breath in) to get me thru the increasingly frightening feeling of drowning Somewhat like how big wave surfers practice....large inhalation before being submerged....but I don't surf stuff that big. I hadn't practiced such an inhalation maneuver and was only lucky I had taken breath before hitting the water hard. I do feel the impact vest helped all this as in foiling at 25 knots and up, it's always good to have on a flotation impact vest.
-The foil board was pulling me under like a fishing lure. There is the video of a kite foil racer on here from last year which showed a similar event with the foil between the lines. Although it's rare, it can happen when on a foil in waves. Faster light high aspect foils do have the ability to pop out of the water a few feet when you eject off of them. Rarely do they fly straight forward but they can off a wave like the erratic steep waves I was in.
Anyhow, all is well when we get thru an event like this when things come out ok
But I think it's important we all share ideas and experiences.
I was approximately 2 km offshore from the launch site.
Lost the brand new Cabrinha 8m kite and used bar. I think the almighty took that thing way from me, but felt bad I couldn't find it onshore as potential trash. It probably snagged on a reef offshore somewhere so a commercial fishermen probably found it since they are the only ones out in the winter.
Somehow the foil flipped back thru the lines after I completely released the kite, as it started foiling being pulled hard downwind, which made no sense how it freed itself when I couldn't, but I was lucky to still have the expensive foil and board to lay on and do the swim in on a cold January winter day.
Apologize for the long post if you read this far.
- These users thanked the author wvickers for the post:
- Breze (Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:35 pm)